Stark County Common Pleas Court Judge Taryn L. Heath received The University of Akron Law Outstanding Alumni Award on May 14, 2021, during a virtual event.
Judge Heath has served on the Stark County Court of Common Pleas bench since 2007. Previously, she served as: a private practitioner for 25 years, prosecutor for the City of Alliance, Ohio Assistant Attorney General, and Magistrate for the Canton Municipal Court for 13 years.
Judge Heath obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Miami University and her Juris Doctor from The University of Akron School of Law where she served on the: Akron Law Review, Student Bar Association (President), Orientation Committee (Chair), Dean’s Advisory Committee, Alumni and Student Affairs Faculty Committee, Mock Trial Team, National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the National Student Bar Association (Secretary).
As an alumnus, Judge Heath served the School of Law Alumni Association as Trustee and Chairperson of Community Involvement Committee, during which she created and chaired a six-year Law, Love and Chocolate event co-sponsored by The Akron Law Alumni Association and the Stark County Bar Association raising over $50,000 for local charities. She has guest lectured for Professor Belsky’s Prosecution Function Course for seven years. Judge Heath is a frequent lecturer on ethics, professionalism, and veteran issues for the Ohio Judicial College, the Ohio Common Pleas Judges’ Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, and the Ohio Association of Magistrates. She was recently elected Second Vice President of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association and Co-Chairs the Ohio Judicial Conference Specialized Dockets Committee. Judge Heath also serves on the Ohio Judicial College Planning Committee, the Common Pleas Curriculum Committee, and the Criminal Bench Book Committee. She is a member of the Stark County Bar Association (Past President), Ohio State Bar Association, and is an Ohio State Bar Foundation Fellow.
Judge Heath was instrumental in establishing the Court’s Foreclosure Mediation Program. She has championed efforts to get young people interested in the justice system, serving for over 30 years as a judge for the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s High School Mock Trial Program, and instituting a Court Career Days Program at Lehman Middle School. Judge Heath established and chaired the committee for the Symposium on Community Violence ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ and was instrumental in reestablishing the Ohio Attorney General’s Fugitive Safe Surrender Program in Stark County.
Judge Heath has chaired the Court’s H.O.P.E. Program (a collaboration of community partners assisting offenders with mental illness) since 2007 and founded and presides over Honor Court (a veterans treatment court) since 2011. She serves as the Stark County Judicial Delegate for the ‘Stepping Up Ohio Initiative’, including the Sequential Intercept Mapping and Supportive Housing Technical Assistance Projects. Judge Heath has received: the 2013 Italian-American Festival Dedication Award; 2016 ‘Got your Six’ award from Warriors Journey Home for service to local veterans; the 2017 Women’s Impact Award; and the 2020 Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery’s CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) ‘Champion of the Year’ award.
“As a proud Akron Law alum, it has been my pleasure to give back to my alma mater whenever I have the opportunity. Akron Law has always produced outstanding members of our legal community which makes this recognition especially meaningful.” – Judge Taryn Heath